Joined: 17 Nov 2018
|Francisco Lindor sensed the Cleveland Indians needed a lift coming off back-to-back losses.
Nothing like a leadoff homer or a late tiebreaking drive to get the job done.
Lindor and Jose Ramirez connected , Mike Clevinger struck out 11 in seven innings and the Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 5-2 on Thursday afternoon.
Lindor opened the game against Carlos Rodon with his 15th home run. He also singled and scored in the seventh when Ramirez broke a 2-all tie with a two-run drive to right-center against Chris Volstad (1-4) for his 20th homer.
”That’s one of the reasons I want to lead off – to get the team going, to do my best to score early and give the team the lead,” Lindor said. ”Whether it’s a home run, a base hit, I ended up scoring in the first inning. It’s important. It tells the team, `All right, it’s time to go, we’ve got to win today.”
And this one, he said, was ”extremely important.”
The Indians got another run with two outs in the eighth when reliever Juan Minaya dropped the throw from first baseman Jose Abreu while covering the bag on Greg Allen’s grounder. That allowed Yan Gomes to score from second to make it 5-2.
Clevinger (5-2) gave up two runs and five hits while walking just one batter.
Cody Allen worked the ninth for his 13th save in 14 chances as the AL Central leaders salvaged a four-game split.
Abreu went the opposite way with a two-run homer to the right-field bullpen in the first. But Clevinger shut down the White Sox after that, beating them for the second time this season.
”It was a nice piece of hitting by Abreu, but Clev threw the ball so well,” manager Terry Francona said. ”He put that behind him , and then he got them out the rest of the way.”
Rodon went five innings in his second start back from shoulder surgery in September, allowing two runs and two hits. The 25-year-old left-hander walked three and hit two batters while striking out four.
Manager Rick Renteria said it’s ”like a little bit of spring training” for him. But Rodon wouldn’t go there.
”Nah, I don’t want to make that excuse,” he said. ”When you show up at this level, it’s time to compete. Go out there and compete for the team, try to win the ballgame.”
Lindor has three leadoff homers this season and six in his career. And Abreu moved ahead of Jim Thome and into a tie for 12th place with Minnie Minoso on the White Sox’s all-time list with 135 homers.
Indians: The Indians activated OF Brandon Guyer (strained neck) from the 10-day disabled list and designated OF Melky Cabrera for assignment. Guyer was in the lineup for the first time since he collided with a fan while chasing a foul ball at Houston on May 19. As for Cabrera, manager Terry Francona said the team ”didn’t see a way we were going to be able to keep” him with Guyer back and OF Tyler Naquin (strained left hamstring) just about ready to return.
White Sox: RHP Nate Jones (strained muscle in forearm) called it ”a relief” tests showed no structural damage in his surgically repaired arm. He said he had been ”self-treating” himself for a few weeks after experiencing some soreness but realized he needed more help when he felt a burning sensation during Tuesday’s win over Cleveland. Jones had Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow last season. He is 2-2 with a 4.01 ERA and four saves in 27 appearances this year. … Renteria said OF Avisail Garcia (strained right hamstring) – on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte – ”feels healthy, feels sound.”
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (10-2, 1.99) goes for his major league-leading 11th win as the Indians open a three-game series against RHP Kyle Gibson (1-4, 3.45) and the Minnesota Twins.
White Sox: RHP Reynaldo Lopez (2-4, 3.26) eyes his second straight win as the White Sox open a three-game series against RHP Mike Fiers (5-3, 4.01) and the Detroit Tigers. Lopez pitched into the seventh at Boston on Sunday.
WASHINGTON — Bryce Harper made some strides at the plate Thursday night just as the Washington Nationals prepare to welcome the division-rival Philadelphia Phillies to town for a weekend series.
Moved back to the leadoff spot by manager Dave Martinez, Harper walked twice and had a sacrifice fly and a double in four plate appearances during a 4-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Harper doubled in the eighth inning of a tie game and came in on Juan Soto’s two-run double and the Nationals took two of three from the Orioles.
“I was able to see a lot of pitches tonight ,” Harper told the Washington Times after the Nationals (40-33) improved to 9-1 with him in the leadoff spot.
Harper began the night hitting .133 (8-for-60) in June, with five walks and 23 strikeouts.
“My swing has felt great,” Harper told mlb.com. “I’ve felt great the past month and a half or so, just chasing pitches. Tonight, I tried to do the best I could to get a ball over the middle (of the plate), and I was able to do that.”
The 19-year-old Soto just continues to hit. Thursday night he went 1-for-3 with a walk in the cleanup spot and enters the weekend hitting .326 with six homers and 16 RBIs over 92 major-league at-bats.
“I think we’re all amazed every single day,” Washington starter Max Scherzer told mlb.com. “He’s a great young player. He’s just enjoying himself. He’s the bat we kind of need in our lineup right now, that’s hot. And teams are going to have to figure out how to get him out, because it’s tough right now.”
Friday night that task falls to Philadelphia right-hander Zach Eflin (4-2, 3.43 ERA). He has won three straight starts, allowing four runs over 18 2/3 innings while striking out 17 batters and walking just three after pitching five effective innings Saturday in Milwaukee.
Elfin will be making his first career start against Washington, which counters with right-hander Tanner Roark (3-7, 3.87).
Roark gave up four runs on eight hits over four innings of in an 8-6 loss at Toronto on Sunday.
On May 5 he lost to the Phillies in Washington when he allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings. For his career , he is 6-7 with a 3.98 ERA in 18 games (16 starts) versus the Phillies.
The Phillies (39-33) trail the second-place Nationals by one-half game in the NL East and trail the Braves by 3 1/3 games. Philadelphia has won seven of its last 10 games and has taken three straight series — against Colorado, at Milwaukee and against St. Louis — as it begins a 10-game stretch against the Nationals and Yankees.
“I think coming off this series, we anticipate a highly-competitive series against a good ballclub on the road, and it seems like we’re ready for that challenge,” Philadelphia right-hander Jake Arrieta told mlb.com.
Off on Thursday, the Phillies defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 on Wednesday.
Odubel Herrera hit what proved to be the game-winning home run in the seventh inning to go along with a single and a double.
“It was one of those ‘Wow’ moments,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told the Courier Post. “He’s so hot, but he’s such an incredible athlete. It’s really elite barrel accuracy. I don’t know how to describe it. He just knows how to find the barrel, find the sweet spot.”
Herrera is hitting .419 (13-for-31) with two doubles, five home runs, eight RBIs in the past seven games. He is 13-for-31 (.419) versus Roark.